Sunbeam Tiger 5 Speed Conversion

One day a good friend come us and said can you build a five speed to fit a Tiger?
It just so happened we were developing our Side shift program for the TKO. As it turn out the new shifter and low profile top covers for the TKO was the right solution for the Tiger.
Working Closely with Root Group Depot in Santa Clara CA, Bill provide the guidance needed for us to build the right five speed to fit the Tiger without modifying the car.
Since Tiger were produced with both 260 and 289, we need to develop a five speed package for both the five bolt block and well as the six bolt block.  After looking it over, we were able to not only provide a well fitting that defined belief we work well.  The TKO can handle can anything you want to throw out at all the while provide a pleasant drive experience.

While auto crossing at a Tiger United event, a long time Tiger owner test drove the one of the first TKO installs.  He came back and asked if he had shifted on the course?  Without a doubt he did but it was smooth he didn’t remember doing so.  If you want to make your five install stealthy, you can.  The TKO is offer in two shifter types, one that will allow for the stock four speed lever to be reused and the other is for a Hurst lever to be used.  Only you will know it there.

Bill Doolittle’s Sunbeam Tiger


Modern Driveline’s Sunbeam Tiger 5 Speed Conversion TREMEC TKO600 Five-speed overdrive transmission, is engineered to fit your Sunbeam Tiger without cutting or modifying the tunnel.

You get durability surpassing Ford’s legendary Top Loader four-speed with vastly improved fuel consumption. You get brute performance in gears one through four and efficiency in overdrive for highway cruising. You really can have it all in a great British/American classic.


  • Increase in fuel economy with overdrive.
  • Lower RPM’s for more drive-ability and a much more quiet in car feeling. 
  • Reduce wear on your engine & drive-train parts
  • Reduce engine temperatures, promoting a longer lasting engine.

Bolt-in swap



Modern Driveline’s TREMEC TKO600/600RR is the most rugged five-speed transmission you can bolt into a vintage Tiger.
The case is specially modified to bolt into the Sunbeam Tiger without cutting and modifications.

The TREMEC TKO600 from Modern Driveline has been field tested in a concours-restored Sunbeam Tiger and it is ready for installation in your vintage Tiger. The Tiger TKO600 is a bolt-in swap with no special modifications or cutting. Once installed with a stock Tiger shifter handle, no one knows it’s there but you. And by the way, we are confident you will love the TKO Tiger package from MDL and expect your Ford Top Loader to be on the shelf for a long time to come.

Custom Fit

Offset shifter enables perfect alignment with Shifter location and uses original shift lever. The low profile covers provide the clearance to fit within the tunnel 


What makes the TKO such a good fit for the Tiger?  Modern Driveline has massaged the TKO’s main case to where it clears the Tiger’s transmission tunnel without modifications to the vehicle. Shifter is offset, which puts it in the Tiger’s correct location. With the Tiger’s original shifter handle, no one will know there’s a TKO underneath.



Stock Ford shifter handle and ball offer stealthy performance.


The difference between a TREMEC TKO and a Modern Driveline enhanced Tiger TKO are the important details most driveline companies miss completely.
Our Tiger TKO is perfectly matched to the Tiger’s tunnel to be a bolt in. Tiger TKO shifts so smooth you don’t have to even think about it while being tougher than a stock toploader four speed.

Configurations to match your needs:

Whether you have the original 5-bolt block or the 6-bolt block we have you covered.
Different overdrive gear ratios are available to match your rear-end ratio.
Everything from the back of the block to the driveshaft are available too.


Five-Bolt Block

  • Tiger Spec TKO600/600RR Transmission
  • Five bolt TKO SFI spec Bellhousing
  • Kevlar/Steel Back Organic Clutch Set
  • Custom TKO Tiger Crossmember & Mount
  • Steel Driveshaft with 31-spline Slip Yoke
  • Speedometer Drive Parts
  • OEM Style Ford Shift Knob, Handle & Boot
  • Back-Up Light Harness
  • Complete Hardware Installation Kit
  • TKO Spec Lube

Six-bolt Block

  • Tiger Spec TKO600/600RR Transmission
  • Kevlar/Steel Back Organic Clutch
  • Custom TKO Tiger Crossmember & Mount
  • Steel Driveshaft with 31-spline Slip Yoke
  • Speedometer Drive Parts
  • OEM Style Ford Shift Knob, Handle & Boot
  • Back-Up Light Harness
  • Complete Hardware Installation Kit
  • TKO Spec Lube
  • Note – that No bellhousing is required as the stock four speed bellhousing is retained. 

Available Options & Upgrades

  • Carbon Fiber Lined synchronizer rings on the 2,3,4th gears for improved high rpm shifts.
  • Aluminum or Lighten Billet Steel 157-tooth Flywheel with 10/10.5-inch clutch bolt pattern
  • Full Kevlar clutch set in either 10” or 10.5”
  • Internal Tilton Hydraulic Throw-out bearing
  • Polished Gears for friction reduction and lower operating temperatures
  • TKO500 is available upon request

Convinced that you need a Sunbeam Tiger 5 Speed Conversion?

     Click Here to Shop FORD TKO

Additional information:

TKO Service manual

TKO Mid-Shift Kit

TKO Parts Manual